The Day C. S. Lewis, John F. Kennedy, and Aldous Huxley Died
by Trevin Wax
Fifty years ago, three great men died within a few hours of each other: C. S. Lewis, John F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley. In 1982, philosophy professor Peter Kreeft imagined the three of them in conversation after their deaths.
Positioning Lewis as a proponent of ancient Western theism, Kennedy as a modern Western humanist, and Huxley as an ancient Eastern pantheist, Kreeft wrote a conversational book entitled Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis & Aldous Huxley.
For years I’d heard about this book. This fall, I decided to read it. I was not disappointed.
The Question of Jesus’ Identity
The book begins with Lewis dialoguing with Kennedy about Jesus Christ as the central focus of history. Their conversation revolves around the identity of Jesus as described in the Scriptures versus the reinterpretation of Jesus’ life and legacy as taught by modern theologians.
Common objections to traditional Christianity are raised by Kennedy. At one point, he admits to Lewis:
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“I’m not as bothered by the possibility of being in hell as I am by your belief in hell. I find the first quite remote, but the second quite present and threatening.”
Meanwhile, Lewis cheerfully dismantles the modern view that Jesus was a good man, but not God.
“Your so-called new Christianity is nothing but the old Arian heresy in new dress.”
Fans of Lewis will enjoy watching his distaste for “chronological snobbery” take a dialogical form in his conversation with Kennedy…